Sunday, January 31, 2010

Yes Y'all, There Are Rules of Etiquette For Family Behavior

Believe it or not, courtesy begins at home. There are simple manners that should be practiced within families. As you may have heard, one may pick one's friends, however, one cannot pick one's family. Various and changing family members will be present for you in one way or another for the rest of your life. With Valentine's Day fast approaching, here are a few tips to help you celebrate your family and loved ones:

  • Simply pay attention to your tone of voice when speaking to a family member every day. Try to sound calm and kind every day.

  • Try to be positive every day. Do not turn the dinner table into "whinny time" or the kitchen into gossip central.

  • Compliment instead of constantly criticize. If you try not to say anything negative or sarcastic, you will not hurt any one's feelings.

  • No matter their past, Respect your elder family members because they deserve your respect. They have "paid their dues" seen and done more than you have, therefore, believe it or not, are wiser. Listen to and learn from their wisdom.

  • Lead by example every day. Children (and adult family members) react to and mimic behavior and tone of voice they see and hear.

  • Acts of kindness go a long way. Bring a loved one coffee in bed. Do the dishes. Empty the trash. Straighten up the Den. Feed the dog. Make a bed. Do not be the family member that always must be badgered to do the slightest daily chore.

  • Always knock and ask permission before entering some one's bedroom.

  • Always thank whomever cooked your dinner every night. If they cooked, you do the dishes.

  • Do not always hog the remote. Ask others if they have a special show or movie they may want to watch.

  • Be quiet if someone in the room is on the phone so they can hear.

  • Practice neat Bathroom manners every day. Leave it cleaner for the next person.

  • Try not to control the conversation and everyone in the room. Give others a turn.

  • Ask a family member how their day went. They will appreciate the asking!

  • Use your magic words, (please, thank you, may I) every day. They are called magic for a reason.

If you are fortunate, different members of your family will be with you throughout your lifetime. Some people have large families, others have friends as family. Friends and family are forever. We all dissappoint, we all make mistakes. We all let down the ones we love from time to time. Forgive, forgive, forgive, every day. Value those you love every day. Try to be consistently kind, non-judgemental and giving. As corny as it may sound, who doesn't want to be around someone who is always positive?